STEVEN UNIVERSE – EPISODE 5 “FRYBO”

Ep. #5
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Nov. 18th, 2013
SONG: No
SYNOPSIS: Steven helps Peedee when he gets a new job as the Frybo mascot.

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Steven is looking for something important: his pants. He asks Pearl, but she’s got a mission of her own, locating the last shard piece for a shattered gem she currently has bubbled. Pearl explains the purpose of the shards, but Steven is too focused on his missing clothes to pay any attention; all we know is that the shard must never touch any piece of garment.

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Pearl tells Steven to keep an eye out before she leaves. Luckily for him, Steven finds both the pants and the shard…merged. His pants is literally walking by itself. Steven pursues the jeans and wears them. He fishes out the missing shard from inside his pockets which was the cause of this mess. He puts the item in a sock until it starts beating him. Steven tells it to stop which miraculously works. Placing the shard in his cheeseburger backpack, Steven races out of the house to find Pearl.

Steven passes by the Fryman’s fries shop only to see a boy in their Frybo mascot costume getting attacked by seagulls. This is Peedee, the youngest son of Mr. Fryman. He wanted to take part in the family business, but the Frybo costume was not exactly what he had in mind. Gee, if only there was a way to promote Fryman Fries with Frybo without Peedee in it. Does Steven, in his infinite wisdom, do the right thing and return Pearl’s shard piece and tells Peedee to suck it up and do his job? It’s only episode five, so no, of course not.

Alright, to Steven’s credit, his first thought was to wear Frybo himself and take Peedee’s place, but those seagulls are relentless! The shard is Plan B. Once Frybo comes to life, it mindlessly follows Steven and Peedee’s commands. They leave Frybo to do the work while they go off and play. Unfortunately Peedee can’t enjoy it, life has changed for him since he got his job and now he’s thinking about the future with bills to pay and houses to buy. In reality, Peedee’s concern is with his father. He wants so hard to win his approval, but Mr. Fryman is taking his youngest child for granted.

They hear a scream coming from the fries shop. Frybo has gone mad, taking its job very seriously by keeping customers inside and shoving fries down their mouth. Dear GOD, this thing turned from unnecessarily creepy to terrifyingly unsettling. Mr. Fryman thinks Peedee is in the costume, so he tries to get through to him. Fryman apologizes for pushing him too hard; he truly does value his son as a member of the industry. This is enough for Peedee to try and rescue him, but Steven stops the kid before he hurts himself.

Pearl arrives in the nick of time and throws a spear at Frybo. The mascot spews ketchup all over her, rendering Pearl blind. On top of that, the bubble containing the shards she’s collected shatters. Steven has an idea though. He takes off all his clothes and inserts each of the shard pieces in it to bring them to life and combat the Freaky Frydude. Once Frybo is down, Steven pulls the shard out from its mouth, rendering the monster lifeless.

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Mr. Fryman, Peedee, Steven, and Pearl later give the costume a proper Viking’s funeral at the beach. Mr. Fryman realize that perhaps Frybo’s days are numbered and no customer wants to be associated with it anymore. Pearl’s the only one who finds this whole thing ridiculous, but plays along. Mr. Fryman and Peedee patch up, a happy ending Steven is more than pleased to witness. Then Pearl tells him to put his clothes back on.

“Frybo”” introduces the slice-of-life format that further defines the show. Steven is of two species and as such, the show is tailored for both perspectives. As Half-Gem, the show focuses on the Gems’ culture, backstory, and prominence on Earth. Steven is also half-human and having been born and raised on this humble little planet, he often visits the denizens of Beach City as a fellow Earthling. Here, the problems are significantly mundane: everyday issues and personal woes the average person struggles with.

This episode’s message is a simple, yet no less familiar one: unrealistic and misunderstood expectations a parent has on a child and the child’s desire to live up to them in spite of their inexperience. Peedee’s excitement to be an adult and work for his father for the first time is shattered into depressed acceptance when he finds out the tribulation of adulthood. His issues aren’t his own, Mr. Fryman means well and his enthusiastic fondness for his job meant pushing Peedee beyond what the kid is probably capable of. Steven is more of an observer than usual, only active when it’s a problem he can fix on the surface. Internally, this is something only Mr. Fryman and Peedee could have resolved on their own.

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